Half-Life 2 is overrated

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#1 Edited by drekula2 (2968 posts) -

Yes, I know. I know.

What I mean is that HL2 is an 8 or 9 instead of a 10/10.

The water canals and the much of the boat sequence were a bore, slowed down the pace and occured way too early. The on-land vehicle didn't handle well and those sections dragged too. It felt like "drive to point b" rather than slink around in a dystopic world as the story implies.

The levels as incredibly diverse as the were didn't feel like a whole believable world, but rather just a series of disconnected levels to add variety to the gameplay. Your companion Alyx wasn't really a deep character and it felt like she was just a device to reward the player by having a girl fawn over him. And the "bosses".

Episode 1 was just a military shooter wannabe. Meh. Episode 2 definitely did a better job at condensing a lot of story and action into a small amount of time though.

And yes, I played them "back then".

#2 Posted by ReddestSkies (4087 posts) -

So insightful! Thank you!

#3 Posted by sukraj (23975 posts) -

I think the game isn't perfect but its still one of those games that I enjoyed playing.

#4 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (19108 posts) -

Most extremely popular games are overrated by the general public. When you hear people say "greatest [insert here] of all time" it's generally an overstatement. HL2 isn't the greatest game of all time and not even the best FPS of all time, but back in 2004 it did things that were groundbreaking. Even though Trespasser beat it to the punch by some 6 years on the physics front, HL2 implemented the feature in such a seamless and efficient way to gain instant classic status.

#5 Posted by drekula2 (2968 posts) -

Definitely. With a generation full of shooters, some of the magic was taken away from Half-Life. The overall gunplay being more refined in other games is not an issue (in context) but some of the other flaws I mentioned had nothing to do with its age.

#6 Edited by platinumking320 (667 posts) -

Eh. At least for all the empty terrain out there you could venture around a little more than some modern military games. For example theres a reason you're not hog tied to the buggy as a vehicle sequence when the thing can turn over and youre being hit repeatedly by antlions.

I always thought the biggest complaint was that the puzzles lost their diversification from 1 by being centered around the gravity gun, but I guess that comes from PC friends who said they wanted it harder. On the same token, folks here, would call the gravity gun puzzle focus an improvement because they dont want their precious 'flow' impeded in any way.

#7 Edited by Planeforger (16297 posts) -

I sometimes feel like the only person who enjoyed the vehicle segments. Seeing the scenery whiz by on the airboat for the first time was fantastic, stopping for supplies at each station had a great tension to it (especially since they'd just introduced the zombies), and then of course the helicopter chase (and eventual fight) was spectacular in its day.

It was a wonderful change of pace with very few blemishes at all (although the barrel puzzle gets a bit dull when you replay it too many times).

Same goes for the buggy sections, really. Having fought through the claustrophobic streets of Ravenholme, you were rewarded with this excellent sense of freedom as you tore down the highways and various bits of countryside. Alongside that, you finally got to take down those flying gunships, you mastered the art of sniping people with the crossbow, and...I believe those segments introduced those awesome antlion swarms (only to empower you later by allowing you to lead them into battle). The buggy segements were some of my favourite in the game, come to think of it.

As for the rest...hm, it didn't have the deepest gunplay and maybe it could have done with better AI...but the game's presentation of details, gameplay mechanics, the world and everything in it, the pacing, the variety in your objectives, the way it was all designed...was masterful - and that's not even taking into account what a spectacular technical achievement it was (in graphics, physics and facial animations especially).

So, no, I wouldn't call it overrated. I'd dare call it a masterpiece of immersive design.

#8 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

@Planeforger said:

I sometimes feel like the only person who enjoyed the vehicle segments. Seeing the scenery whiz by on the airboat for the first time was fantastic, stopping for supplies at each station had a great tension to it (especially since they'd just introduced the zombies), and then of course the helicopter chase (and eventual fight) was spectacular in its day.

It was a wonderful change of pace with very few blemishes at all (although the barrel puzzle gets a bit dull when you replay it too many times).

Same goes for the buggy sections, really. Having fought through the claustrophobic streets of Ravenholme, you were rewarded with this excellent sense of freedom as you tore down the highways and various bits of countryside. Alongside that, you finally got to take down those flying gunships, you mastered the art of sniping people with the crossbow, and...I believe those segments introduced those awesome antlion swarms (only to empower you later by allowing you to lead them into battle). The buggy segements were some of my favourite in the game, come to think of it.

As for the rest...hm, it didn't have the deepest gunplay and maybe it could have done with better AI...but the game's presentation of details, gameplay mechanics, the world and everything in it, the pacing, the variety in your objectives, the way it was all designed...was masterful - and that's not even taking into account what a spectacular technical achievement it was (in graphics, physics and facial animations especially).

So, no, I wouldn't call it overrated. I'd dare call it a masterpiece of immersive design.

I agree with pretty much everything you said. Water Hazard and Highway 17 are both fantastic levels. Half-Life 2 is just a tour de force of game design and still remains a game with unparalleled diversity and atmosphere. I actually replay it every few years and I played it this year and it's fucking amazing how a game from 2004 feels a hell of a lot more modern than 99% of first-person shooters coming out today.

#9 Posted by loafofgame (816 posts) -

Yeah, I tend to agree with @Planeforger. At least, that's also how I experienced it. I never thought the boat sequences were a bore, I liked the variety in pacing and levels (and the way the levels were connected) and it constantly introduced new stuff. It was a very linear shooter, but a very well crafted one, in my opinion. And what I personally remember is that it ran surprisingly smooth on a crappy system, even with the settings on high. It's a game I actually fully remember, the whole journey through it. And it had amazing facial animations and believable characters. I agree that Alyx wasn't a very deep character, but she was very likeable and non-stereotypical. In fact, I think she's my favourite female game character.

@drekula2 Also, I find it hard to consider your statements without a proper context. Which games did things better in your opinion and why (and I guess for validity you could mention games that came out before or around HL2)?

#10 Edited by CoquiNegro (171 posts) -

I hate when these threads aren't articulated well. Notice how the op's tone makes it seem as a fact, when in fact, it's his opinion? IN MY OPINION half life 2 is overrated, sounds much more reasonable.

#11 Posted by Lucianu (9571 posts) -

@loafofgame said:

@drekula2 Also, I find it hard to consider your statements without a proper context. Which games did things better in your opinion and why (and I guess for validity you could mention games that came out before or around HL2)?

Half Life has much better enemy AI than Half Life 2, compare the combine with the soldiers in Half Life; The soldiers have squad behavior, they often try to tactically hide out wen they seem overwhelmed, and flush you out of cover by throwing grenades or sudden bursts of aggressive gun fire. The combine usually mindlessly go towards you and try to shoot you. There was a point in Half Life 2 were i was staying still wile many combine soldiers came out of a door one by one at me, wile i killed them. I couldn't help shake my head at how terrible the AI was in comparison to Half Life. I'd recommend playing both on medium - high difficulty to see what i'm talking about.

Half Life also has better gunplay, but i can't really elaborate here.. HL2's gunplay feels underwhelming.. 'spongy' and weak. Wile in Half Life, they just feel and sound right, the .357 Magnum for example is still one of my favorite weapons of all times.

The level design is great in Half Life 2 (i really enjoyed the vehicle segments), and Ravenholm is one of greatest segments i have experience in video gaming. But Half Life is a much better game for me because despite the shitty platforming, it does AI and Gunplay tremendously well. AI, level design and gunplay are the three definite elements of a first person shooter for me.

#12 Posted by Gargus (2147 posts) -

Half life has been blown way out of proportion as an entire series. But while 1 was good, 2 was just more of the same only less compelling.

HL2 was nothing more than the worlds biggest tech demo, that's all it was. It seemed like the entire game was just segments of a really big tech demo strung together. Each level had some moment show casing sound, physics, graphics or what not through a single big moment and everything between those moments was smaller versions. One level is dark sewers showing off the lighting, next your on a boat showing water physics, then you have a series of boobie traps showing off ragdoll physics, then your under a bridge showing off the sound engine, and once you finish off each level like the boat or car you never really see them again except maybe briefly. Its as if "Ok we did the car level and boat level to showcase those, so lets not really use them anymore".

There is no story or characterization in the games. We have 2 official full sized games, 2 official expansion packs, and 2 third party expansion packs, and 15 years all we really know is Gordon is a scientist, aliens invade and that's pretty much it. There is a lot of locations, a decent amount of characters, and a whole lot of dialogue but at the end of the day none of it matters because its just the vehicle for picking up boxes with a gravity gun.

I hate how scripted it is as well, its overly scripted and closed ended. The game never, ever leaves the rails or gives you any room at all to explore or make your own choices or give you any breathing room. I played it a couple times but the fun was immediately gone after first time through because the game is so narrow that you have to follow a very exact path through it and everything is so heavily scripted you know exactly where and what will happen. It would have been nice to at least have the freedom to chose a different path to get to something in the city, or give a little sense of freedom. And all of the heavy scripting made the game feel so lifeless and robotic I found it boring.

All in all half life 2 and its expansions are decent games but lack any soul. I always thought they were severely overrated.

#13 Edited by platinumking320 (667 posts) -
@Gargus said:

Half life has been blown way out of proportion as an entire series. But while 1 was good, 2 was just more of the same only less compelling.

HL2 was nothing more than the worlds biggest tech demo, that's all it was. It seemed like the entire game was just segments of a really big tech demo strung together. Each level had some moment show casing sound, physics, graphics or what not through a single big moment and everything between those moments was smaller versions. One level is dark sewers showing off the lighting, next your on a boat showing water physics, then you have a series of boobie traps showing off ragdoll physics, then your under a bridge showing off the sound engine, and once you finish off each level like the boat or car you never really see them again except maybe briefly. Its as if "Ok we did the car level and boat level to showcase those, so lets not really use them anymore".

There is no story or characterization in the games. We have 2 official full sized games, 2 official expansion packs, and 2 third party expansion packs, and 15 years all we really know is Gordon is a scientist, aliens invade and that's pretty much it. There is a lot of locations, a decent amount of characters, and a whole lot of dialogue but at the end of the day none of it matters because its just the vehicle for picking up boxes with a gravity gun.

I hate how scripted it is as well, its overly scripted and closed ended. The game never, ever leaves the rails or gives you any room at all to explore or make your own choices or give you any breathing room. I played it a couple times but the fun was immediately gone after first time through because the game is so narrow that you have to follow a very exact path through it and everything is so heavily scripted you know exactly where and what will happen. It would have been nice to at least have the freedom to chose a different path to get to something in the city, or give a little sense of freedom. And all of the heavy scripting made the game feel so lifeless and robotic I found it boring.

All in all half life 2 and its expansions are decent games but lack any soul. I always thought they were severely overrated.

Eh, well Its hard being a straightforward game in a post WoW, sandbox world. It's probably 'harder than being a pimp'.

#14 Edited by FreedomFreeLife (3180 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

Yes, I know. I know.

What I mean is that HL2 is an 8 or 9 instead of a 10/10.

The water canals and the much of the boat sequence were a bore, slowed down the pace and occured way too early. The on-land vehicle didn't handle well and those sections dragged too. It felt like "drive to point b" rather than slink around in a dystopic world as the story implies.

The levels as incredibly diverse as the were didn't feel like a whole believable world, but rather just a series of disconnected levels to add variety to the gameplay. Your companion Alyx wasn't really a deep character and it felt like she was just a device to reward the player by having a girl fawn over him. And the "bosses".

Episode 1 was just a military shooter wannabe. Meh. Episode 2 definitely did a better job at condensing a lot of story and action into a small amount of time though.

And yes, I played them "back then".

So you saying 2004 vs 2013 game and now HL2 is overrated?

Half-Life 2 has best storytelling. Tell me 1 game where has no cutscenes or game cuts? Half Life 2 has 0 cutscenes and 0 game cut. Back then in 2004 there were nothing like Half Life 2 game.

#15 Posted by Jacanuk (5624 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

Yes, I know. I know.

What I mean is that HL2 is an 8 or 9 instead of a 10/10.

The water canals and the much of the boat sequence were a bore, slowed down the pace and occured way too early. The on-land vehicle didn't handle well and those sections dragged too. It felt like "drive to point b" rather than slink around in a dystopic world as the story implies.

The levels as incredibly diverse as the were didn't feel like a whole believable world, but rather just a series of disconnected levels to add variety to the gameplay. Your companion Alyx wasn't really a deep character and it felt like she was just a device to reward the player by having a girl fawn over him. And the "bosses".

Episode 1 was just a military shooter wannabe. Meh. Episode 2 definitely did a better job at condensing a lot of story and action into a small amount of time though.

And yes, I played them "back then".

Thank you for your very insightful commentary on Half-life2

You opened my eyes and i will now go cry in a corner and contemplate over the horror that is now known as Half-life 2.

#16 Edited by Pedro (21503 posts) -

Every popular game is overrated. This rings true mainly due to fans overextending the merits of the game and stating their preference as facts.

#17 Posted by Jacanuk (5624 posts) -

@Pedro said:

Every popular game is overrated. This rings true mainly due to fans overextending the merits of the game and stating their preference as facts.

True particular when you shit almost 10 years after its release and look back or play it.

Also its funny how clever people are and how easy they forget what was before.

#18 Posted by loafofgame (816 posts) -

@Lucianu: I've played the first half life and I can see where you're coming from, but in this case we have different preferences, I guess. I can appreciate good AI and gunplay, but they're not as important to me. The fact that I've played HL2 before HL might also be a factor. But I really enjoyed the shooting in both games.

#19 Edited by dvader654 (44751 posts) -

So things I learned in this thread HL2 is just good and every great game is overrated. Wow great, thanks guys for this amazing thread.

No HL2 is not overrated, it's got the exact level of acclaim and looked back with the right amount of reverence as it should be. To me and to many it is the greatest FPS of all time. It's a masterpiece, deal with it.

#20 Posted by turtlethetaffer (17198 posts) -

It's a lot of fun but the story is mediocre at best. I appreciate what it brought to the table but all the praise it gets isn't warranted.

#21 Edited by drekula2 (2968 posts) -

@CoquiNegro said:

I hate when these threads aren't articulated well. Notice how the op's tone makes it seem as a fact, when in fact, it's his opinion? IN MY OPINION half life 2 is overrated, sounds much more reasonable.

Of course it's opinion and not fact. I clarified that because everyone should assume opinions to be, well, opinions.

@turtlethetaffer said:

It's a lot of fun but the story is mediocre at best. I appreciate what it brought to the table but all the praise it gets isn't warranted.

I enjoyed the story personally

@FreedomFreeLife said:

Half-Life 2 has best storytelling. Tell me 1 game where has no cutscenes or game cuts? Half Life 2 has 0 cutscenes and 0 game cut. Back then in 2004 there were nothing like Half Life 2 game.

I totally agree with you on that. I commend Valve's commitment to make the story seamless. I hate how games are combat-cutscene-combat-cutscene nowadays like Batman or even Metal Gear Solid. Notice I have no criticism of the story, as it's one of HL2's strengths.

My complaints toward the game are mostly parts of it's gameplay - not visuals or story.

@Gargus said:

Half life has been blown way out of proportion as an entire series. But while 1 was good, 2 was just more of the same only less compelling.

From a gameplay perspective, HL2 certainly has it's share of moments. But HL1 felt like a more coherent story. Not just "hey lets put you in a zombie level now (i loved ravenholm btw tho)". And, it set the standard.

HL2 was nothing more than the worlds biggest tech demo, that's all it was. It seemed like the entire game was just segments of a really big tech demo strung together.

Now that you mention it, I'm starting to agree. It felt like Valve wanted to show us their capabilities, but then they went and delayed everything anyway.

There is no story or characterization in the games.

Yeah, it hints at a lot. I'd say there's a big story, but Half-Life is shrouding too much of itself in a cloud of mystery.

I hate how scripted it is as well, its overly scripted and closed ended. The game never, ever leaves the rails or gives you any room at all to explore or make your own choices or give you any breathing room.

Actually, in context of the story, I think that's fair.

All in all half life 2 and its expansions are decent games but lack any soul. I always thought they were severely overrated.

idk about severe. it's def one of the better games of the gen. i just don't think it's "OMG ONE OF THE BEST GAMES EVER"

#22 Edited by ZZoMBiE13 (22911 posts) -

I'm still not crazy about the term "overrated", but for once at least I kind of agree with the sentiment behind it.

I respect Valve, and the Half-Life games. Further, I acknowledge what they did for the industry and their ambition. But I never really could get that interested in playing them. They make interesting worlds and characters, but I've never been all that engaged by the game part of the Half Life games.

Not that any of that makes them bad, or even overrated. I just appreciate them better from afar than up close.

Half Life, for me, was like that one movie that all your friends are just raving about. And then you see it, and just can't really get into it for some undefinable reason. Regardless of it's objective quality, the series just never managed to grab me the way it has for others.

#23 Posted by LeftClick007 (77 posts) -

Nope. I disagree with it being overrated, for its time it really was the pinnacle of action adventure fps. Also what are you comparing HL2 to, what is your perfect game pre-2004? Otherwise discussing its rating or hype almost 10 years later is too difficult. We've seen waaay too much progress since then to honestly say what our exact thoughts were back then, unless you wrote a detailed review or kept a detailed gaming journal. I cant tell you exactly how I felt when I played Hl2 on release day. But I do remember that I enjoyed the hell out of it because it brought many new things to the table, things that were just unseen at the time in a shooter. The immersion level was great, for me at least. It felt like you were part of something bigger, even though the levels were incredibly linear.That is Valve's style and they never lead you on about it being otherwise. There were not any games like Stalker or Oblivion back then to compare it to, almost every major fps was linear.

I do remember that I did spent all of my free time for next 3 days after the release day playing it and then replayed it twice. The only other shooter to ever get my attention like that again was Crysis. Again another game that I'm sure you view as a tech demo. But guess what? Sometimes the new tech is what breathes life into the genre, can you imagine HL2 without the physics? without the vehicle levels? Was it gimmicky, yea maybe, after we've seen the same scenarios in games for over 15 years, everything seems like a gimmick. But are gimmicks a bad thing in gaming? I say No! Look at Portal, nothing but a gimmick, but its a classic in its own right and thoroughly enjoyable, and very highly rated just like HL2.

But really though, what are you comparing HL2 to?

#24 Edited by YukoAsho (2083 posts) -

@Lucianu said:

@loafofgame said:

@drekula2 Also, I find it hard to consider your statements without a proper context. Which games did things better in your opinion and why (and I guess for validity you could mention games that came out before or around HL2)?

Half Life has much better enemy AI than Half Life 2, compare the combine with the soldiers in Half Life; The soldiers have squad behavior, they often try to tactically hide out wen they seem overwhelmed, and flush you out of cover by throwing grenades or sudden bursts of aggressive gun fire. The combine usually mindlessly go towards you and try to shoot you. There was a point in Half Life 2 were i was staying still wile many combine soldiers came out of a door one by one at me, wile i killed them. I couldn't help shake my head at how terrible the AI was in comparison to Half Life. I'd recommend playing both on medium - high difficulty to see what i'm talking about.

Half Life also has better gunplay, but i can't really elaborate here.. HL2's gunplay feels underwhelming.. 'spongy' and weak. Wile in Half Life, they just feel and sound right, the .357 Magnum for example is still one of my favorite weapons of all times.

The level design is great in Half Life 2 (i really enjoyed the vehicle segments), and Ravenholm is one of greatest segments i have experience in video gaming. But Half Life is a much better game for me because despite the shitty platforming, it does AI and Gunplay tremendously well. AI, level design and gunplay are the three definite elements of a first person shooter for me.

I was about to type all that out, but you beat me to it.

Half-Life 1 was the better game, full-stop.

@drekula2 said:

Yes, I know. I know.

What I mean is that HL2 is an 8 or 9 instead of a 10/10.

The water canals and the much of the boat sequence were a bore, slowed down the pace and occured way too early. The on-land vehicle didn't handle well and those sections dragged too. It felt like "drive to point b" rather than slink around in a dystopic world as the story implies.

The levels as incredibly diverse as the were didn't feel like a whole believable world, but rather just a series of disconnected levels to add variety to the gameplay. Your companion Alyx wasn't really a deep character and it felt like she was just a device to reward the player by having a girl fawn over him. And the "bosses".

Episode 1 was just a military shooter wannabe. Meh. Episode 2 definitely did a better job at condensing a lot of story and action into a small amount of time though.

And yes, I played them "back then".

I think the issue with a game series that gets as much "gamer cred" (whatever the fuck that means) is that any deviation from the norm of universal praise gets shouted down by angry fanboys. Don't believe me? Say that you didn't think [Zelda Series Installment Here] was the best thing ever and watch the fanboys eviscerate you. Or worse, challenge GTA on anything at all.

While there's always some measure of conformity when it comes to handling popular media, the gaming fandom has evolved (devolved?) into some sort of hive mind, unwelcome to any sort of outside ideas. Being often on the outside of the hive mind, I've learned to keep my head down for the most part, and with ideas that "controversial," you'd do well to do the same.

#25 Edited by BranKetra (49830 posts) -

Some things cause a lasting change in the way people live and they remain widely used long after more advanced technology is invented like the plough. Other things also improve industries for the better overall, but when the technology is revisited then the novelty of it seems common like Half-Life 2.

#26 Posted by dvader654 (44751 posts) -

@YukoAsho: No, the issue is when you make insulting claims without backing it up in any meaningful fashion. Starting an "overrated" thread is the equivalent of getting a bullhorn and shouting "look at me! I hate this popular game! Haha!"

The OP did not go into detail and seriously what is the point of bringing this up now. We like discussion here but bring it up when it's a proper time to do.

Want to trash GTA in the GTA thread that's fine but be ready to defend your position. It seems like this forum has got an influx of members that rather attack the poster than actually engage in a debate. The second someone starts to counter an argument some stupid idiotic claim of bias or boundless comes in. It's ridiculous and shameful to see it happen so often on these boards.

#27 Edited by c_rakestraw (14790 posts) -

Insert obligatory comment about overrated being overrated here.

(For the record, I don't have a problem with drekula making these threads, merely the tired use of "overrated.")

@CoquiNegro said:

I hate when these threads aren't articulated well. Notice how the op's tone makes it seem as a fact, when in fact, it's his opinion? IN MY OPINION half life 2 is overrated, sounds much more reasonable.

I really don't see the need for that. The use of "overrated" has become tiresome and abrasive, but adding "in my opinion" doesn't help anything. It's just dumb. It should already be obvious that everyone speaks their opinion. What else would we all be doing all the time? Have we, as a society, become so daft that we need to constantly reiterate that we're stating our opinions because we can't somehow process that otherwise? The whole thing is fucking ridiculous.

#28 Edited by drekula2 (2968 posts) -

@c_rakestraw said:

(For the record, I don't have a problem with drekula making these threads, merely the tired use of "overrated.")

Can I have some suggestions on better woulds I could use instead?

#29 Posted by YukoAsho (2083 posts) -

@dvader654 said:

@YukoAsho: No, the issue is when you make insulting claims without backing it up in any meaningful fashion. Starting an "overrated" thread is the equivalent of getting a bullhorn and shouting "look at me! I hate this popular game! Haha!"

The OP did not go into detail and seriously what is the point of bringing this up now. We like discussion here but bring it up when it's a proper time to do.

Want to trash GTA in the GTA thread that's fine but be ready to defend your position. It seems like this forum has got an influx of members that rather attack the poster than actually engage in a debate. The second someone starts to counter an argument some stupid idiotic claim of bias or boundless comes in. It's ridiculous and shameful to see it happen so often on these boards.

Well, I don't make any claims to the OP, but I find it more intellectually stimulating to just give actual answers instead of feeding the trolls, real or perceived. Keeps the blood pressure down if nothing else.

And while I certainly agree that a defensible position is a must when making a claim of any sort, but you cannot deny that there's a huge (and growing) swath of the audience that won't brook any disagreement with the popular opinion. Seriously, go read the comments section to a Tom McShea review or see the Feedbackula episode I linked again. That's what large parts of the gaming audience (and the internet in general) have become.

@c_rakestraw said:

I really don't see the need for that. The use of "overrated" has become tiresome and abrasive, but adding "in my opinion" doesn't help anything. It's just dumb. It should already be obvious that everyone speaks their opinion. What else would we all be doing all the time? Have we, as a society, become so daft that we need to constantly reiterate that we're stating our opinions because we can't somehow process that otherwise? The whole thing is fucking ridiculous.

Lord in Heaven, yes!

Unless there's nothing but imperical data being presented, that a post is an opinion should is implied. It's what makes me want to jump off the tallest building I can find every time I hear people whining about reviews not being "objective" or some stupid shit like that. Reviews are opinions, as are (most) forum and blog posts! That's the whole point! Anything relating to quality will always be subjective, and as long as the people giving the opinions have no biases* and are well articulated, there shouldn't be a problem.

*:Before anyone tells me I contradicted myself by saying opinions are good but biases are bad, allow me to remind you of the definition of "bias," as provided by google.

prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Notice the parts I've bolded. "Prejudice in favor of or against, in a way considered to be unfair." There's plenty of that to go around, and attacking anyone with a different opinion without any evidence of unfairness does no one any favors when trying to sniff out bias. In fact, it often leads to bias in favor of what the audience is perceived as wanting to hear, irrespective of the merits of a game.

#30 Edited by dvader654 (44751 posts) -

@YukoAsho said:
@dvader654 said:

@YukoAsho: No, the issue is when you make insulting claims without backing it up in any meaningful fashion. Starting an "overrated" thread is the equivalent of getting a bullhorn and shouting "look at me! I hate this popular game! Haha!"

The OP did not go into detail and seriously what is the point of bringing this up now. We like discussion here but bring it up when it's a proper time to do.

Want to trash GTA in the GTA thread that's fine but be ready to defend your position. It seems like this forum has got an influx of members that rather attack the poster than actually engage in a debate. The second someone starts to counter an argument some stupid idiotic claim of bias or boundless comes in. It's ridiculous and shameful to see it happen so often on these boards.

Well, I don't make any claims to the OP, but I find it more intellectually stimulating to just give actual answers instead of feeding the trolls, real or perceived. Keeps the blood pressure down if nothing else.

And while I certainly agree that a defensible position is a must when making a claim of any sort, but you cannot deny that there's a huge (and growing) swath of the audience that won't brook any disagreement with the popular opinion. Seriously, go read the comments section to a Tom McShea review or see the Feedbackula episode I linked again. That's what large parts of the gaming audience (and the internet in general) have become.

I think the negative personal attacks on the reviews are a whole different matter entirely. That was disgusting and shameful. I don't care for McShae's reviews, but I will share my reasons why, that said he is still entitled to it.

While it seems there is a ton of people that attack when there is disagreement to the popular opinion the opposite is also true, there is a growing group who seem to hate everything and want to be negative about everything. Seems like the middle ground is disappearing.

#31 Edited by Jacanuk (5624 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

@c_rakestraw said:

(For the record, I don't have a problem with drekula making these threads, merely the tired use of "overrated.")

Can I have some suggestions on better woulds I could use instead?

What about asking yourself why you felt the need to 10 years after its been released and the industry have gone through massive changes, feel the need to now come forward and complain about a review for it?

Honestly who cares if it got a 8,9,10,11,12 or a "most epic bad title of the year" at the time it came out it was so far above anything else and was a continuation of the same excellent standard halflife 1 came with. But it was an sequel and had to deal with the normal "oh more of the same" as most sequels has to deal with.

#32 Edited by c_rakestraw (14790 posts) -
@drekula2 said:

Can I have some suggestions on better woulds I could use instead?

Let me get back to you on that. My thesaurus didn't turn up any good results.

@YukoAsho said:

Lord in Heaven, yes!

Unless there's nothing but imperical data being presented, that a post is an opinion should is implied. It's what makes me want to jump off the tallest building I can find every time I hear people whining about reviews not being "objective" or some stupid shit like that. Reviews are opinions, as are (most) forum and blog posts! That's the whole point! Anything relating to quality will always be subjective, and as long as the people giving the opinions have no biases* and are well articulated, there shouldn't be a problem.

*:Before anyone tells me I contradicted myself by saying opinions are good but biases are bad, allow me to remind you of the definition of "bias," as provided by google.

prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

Notice the parts I've bolded. "Prejudice in favor of or against, in a way considered to be unfair." There's plenty of that to go around, and attacking anyone with a different opinion without any evidence of unfairness does no one any favors when trying to sniff out bias. In fact, it often leads to bias in favor of what the audience is perceived as wanting to hear, irrespective of the merits of a game.

This is a great post. I'm so glad someone else agrees.

#33 Posted by loafofgame (816 posts) -

@YukoAsho said:

I think the issue with a game series that gets as much "gamer cred" (whatever the fuck that means) is that any deviation from the norm of universal praise gets shouted down by angry fanboys. Don't believe me? Say that you didn't think [Zelda Series Installment Here] was the best thing ever and watch the fanboys eviscerate you. Or worse, challenge GTA on anything at all.

While there's always some measure of conformity when it comes to handling popular media, the gaming fandom has evolved (devolved?) into some sort of hive mind, unwelcome to any sort of outside ideas. Being often on the outside of the hive mind, I've learned to keep my head down for the most part, and with ideas that "controversial," you'd do well to do the same.

Fanboys are there to be ignored. You wade through the shit and find a comment that is reasonable. Both sides are guilty of shouting, it's just that the praise side is so much bigger. And both sides often take the easy way out by using these fanboy cries to prove their point: "Look at this ignorant shouting, it proves that I am right."

@YukoAsho said:
@c_rakestraw said:

I really don't see the need for that. The use of "overrated" has become tiresome and abrasive, but adding "in my opinion" doesn't help anything. It's just dumb. It should already be obvious that everyone speaks their opinion. What else would we all be doing all the time? Have we, as a society, become so daft that we need to constantly reiterate that we're stating our opinions because we can't somehow process that otherwise? The whole thing is fucking ridiculous.

Lord in Heaven, yes!

Unless there's nothing but imperical data being presented, that a post is an opinion should is implied. It's what makes me want to jump off the tallest building I can find every time I hear people whining about reviews not being "objective" or some stupid shit like that. Reviews are opinions, as are (most) forum and blog posts! That's the whole point! Anything relating to quality will always be subjective, and as long as the people giving the opinions have no biases* and are well articulated, there shouldn't be a problem.

I see what both of you are getting at, but this is the problem of the internet and slow communication via written words. Of course it should be implied that everyone speaks their opinion, the problem is that there are a lot of people out there who actually think that what they say is fact (even people who aren't fanboys), and these people are often not to be reasoned with. If someone takes the effort to put in 'in my opinion' then at least there's a chance that person is reasonable and realises that yes, opinion should always be implied. When communication goes slowly and there's a big chance that my effort to be reasonable goes to waste I want to make sure that the people I reply to aren't beyond debating with.

Let me take the next comment as an example:

@YukoAsho said:

Half-Life 1 was the better game, full-stop.

It was probably not your intention, but a comment like this makes me think that you're not the kind of guy someone can have a balanced debate with. Your mind seems made up and you're really just here to prove people who love HL2 wrong. Now, of course that's my interpretation and quite possibly I'm way off (based on the other things you've said), but you've got to admit that a comment like that isn't very inviting, even if you used a quote to contextualise it.

On the internet you can't really rely on implications. I think the exact reason why so many people go berserk is because they read too much into words.

#34 Posted by LeftClick007 (77 posts) -

@loafofgame: Your are correct, words can get confusing and the way they are used can be very uninviting, but its still all opinions. Whats nonsense though is making a claim with almost nothing to back it up. Its easy to say" Ms Pacman is overrated, Why? It just is. " That statement is shallow and useless.

#35 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (7138 posts) -

HL2 is still the game which I consider to be closest to "the perfect game".

#36 Edited by BranKetra (49830 posts) -

@dvader654 said:

@YukoAsho: No, the issue is when you make insulting claims without backing it up in any meaningful fashion. Starting an "overrated" thread is the equivalent of getting a bullhorn and shouting "look at me! I hate this popular game! Haha!"

The OP did not go into detail and seriously what is the point of bringing this up now. We like discussion here but bring it up when it's a proper time to do.

Want to trash GTA in the GTA thread that's fine but be ready to defend your position. It seems like this forum has got an influx of members that rather attack the poster than actually engage in a debate. The second someone starts to counter an argument some stupid idiotic claim of bias or boundless comes in. It's ridiculous and shameful to see it happen so often on these boards.

It can be inadvertently dissuading. I do not have any interest in seeing that. Get on the Jerry Springer show with that stuff.

#37 Posted by The_Last_Ride (74433 posts) -

it's the most overrated for my part. I think there are way better games than this in my book. Is it a bad game, no. But far from the best game ever

#38 Posted by SoNin360 (5687 posts) -


I haven't played any of the Half-Life games. I kind of want to just to see what all the fuss is about. I'm sure I'd like them, but I just haven't got around to it. But as with any mega-popular game out there, people are going to find it "overrated" because they didn't enjoy it as much as most people did.

#39 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

@Planeforger: I really liked the vehicle sections as well. In fact, one of my favorite moments from HL2 is when you're running away from the helicopter and you have no weapons. That was such a tense, fun moment. I can get why people didn't like it, but I always thought it was exciting.

#40 Posted by murekkep (683 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

Episode 1 was just a military shooter wannabe.

You know that Ep1 has come out way before than those military shooters right?

#41 Posted by Jacanuk (5624 posts) -

@The_Last_Ride said:

it's the most overrated for my part. I think there are way better games than this in my book. Is it a bad game, no. But far from the best game ever

Now there are better games because the industry evolves and learn from previous games.

But at the time of release there wasn't anything better , it was GOTY and as a FPS it was the absolute top.

Thats why its stupid to go back and look at games with todays knowledge,

#42 Edited by kingcrimson24 (493 posts) -

at 2004 , Half life was closest thing to " Perfect 10/10 " . Graphics were mind - blowing , even when i play it now graphics don't look that old to me , but when i play halo 2 ( which game out in the same year ) really looks outdated and old .

beside graphics , gameplay was really diverse , missions were amazingly connected and the game takes you to many places , which after all these years , every chapter and every place that i got on that game is now a memory for me . i agree " water hazard " , " highway 17 " and "sandtraps" were really boring , but i think the last 5 chapters were really amazing .

Episode one and two were amazingly paced and they had an amazing story , and i had deep feelings for Alyx and Dog .

Half life 2 is in my top ten games of all time . no question in it .

#43 Edited by MrYaotubo (2798 posts) -

All popular games have it´s detractors I guess,I also think Ocarina of Time(and the whole Zelda franchise) is massively overrated but I don´t waste my time making threads about it.

#44 Posted by -Rhett81- (3569 posts) -

@drekula2 said:

Yes, I know. I know.

What I mean is that HL2 is an 8 or 9 instead of a 10/10.

The water canals and the much of the boat sequence were a bore, slowed down the pace and occured way too early. The on-land vehicle didn't handle well and those sections dragged too. It felt like "drive to point b" rather than slink around in a dystopic world as the story implies.

The levels as incredibly diverse as the were didn't feel like a whole believable world, but rather just a series of disconnected levels to add variety to the gameplay. Your companion Alyx wasn't really a deep character and it felt like she was just a device to reward the player by having a girl fawn over him. And the "bosses".

Episode 1 was just a military shooter wannabe. Meh. Episode 2 definitely did a better job at condensing a lot of story and action into a small amount of time though.

And yes, I played them "back then".

It took you 9 years to complete the game? No wonder why you didn't like it.

#45 Edited by uninspiredcup (12799 posts) -
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Fart.